back to articles | January 02, 2024 | Moses Mwangi

Categories: Motorcycle

13 Tips to Keep Your Motorcycle in Good Condition This Winter

As winter sets in and temperatures start to drop, it's essential that you take care of your motorcycle.


As winter sets in and temperatures start to drop, it's essential that you take care of your motorcycle. This season experiences cold weather, rain, snow, and many similar situations, which can create problems for your motorbike, such as rust, battery, and tire issues. Therefore, you need to take collective care to ensure your bike and its parts are in good condition and function smoothly.

So, how do you keep your motorcycle in good condition in this chilly weather? Here are a few essential motorcycle maintenance tips to help you look after your two-wheeler this winter.

Regularly check the tyres

Cold weather affects a motorcycle's tires even more than heat does. Thus, you should always check your tires before and after each ride. Make sure to inspect the air pressure, wear, and damage.

Note that for every 10°C decrease in temperature, there is also a 2psi decrease in pressure. Therefore, be sure to check your bike's tires regularly for signs of decreased air pressure. Also, ensure that your motorcycle has winter-ready rubber. This rubber offers a better grip for handling icy and wet winter conditions.

Clean your motorcycle regularly

A significant part of motorcycle winter maintenance involves regular cleaning. You should note that the winter weather can cause salt, dirt, and other debris to accumulate on your motorcycle. The accumulation of debris can lead to rust and other issues.

Thus, clean your bike after every ride. Also, note that as you clean your motorcycle, you should avoid using a high-pressure washer as it can force water into your motorcycle's sensitive area.

Check the battery

If your battery is not well-maintained or charged, it may freeze due to the cold temperatures. This freezing can bring about irreversible damage. It can also reduce your motorcycle's battery life.

Start by checking the voltage, which should be 12.6V. Then, make sure everything is tight and free from dirt. You should also make sure to grease the terminals. If you notice your battery has low power, charge it before your next ride and keep tabs on its voltage. In addition, if you discover your battery is losing power quickly, replace it.

Protect your bike from rust

One of the most common problems that motorcycles face during winter is rust. The high salt levels on the roads can easily cause your bike's metal components to corrode. Thus, the best way to protect your bike from rust is to do the following:

  • Apply protective coating before the winter season begins. Applying the protective coating will help prevent corrosion and rust. Note that there are different types of coatings that you can use, including oils, waxes, and sprays.
  • Clean your motorcycle after riding in snowy or wet conditions to remove accumulated salt that can cause your bike to rust.
  • Store your bike in a cool and dry place throughout the winter.

Use quality antifreeze

A high-quality, winter-ready antifreeze is vital if your motorcycle has a standard cooling system. The antifreeze you choose should have a low freezing point of about -30°C. The coolant or antifreeze will ensure your motorcycle's system will not freeze if you park it outside.

Another essential thing you should note is that you should never use water (particularly hard water) as antifreeze. Using water in the cooling system can lead to freezing, which may cause damage to your motorbike engine and other components. Moreover, top up the antifreeze regularly if its levels go down.

Protect your bike's engine

The heart of any motorcycle is the engine. Therefore, it is essential that you protect it during winter. Note that the cold temperatures of the winter can cause your engine's oil to thicken, which may make it hard for the engine to turn over.

That said, do the following to protect your engine:

  • Change your oil during winter, and use thinner, winter-grade oil. This will help to ensure your engine works efficiently even during the cold weather.
  • Use a fuel stabilizer if you are not riding your bike regularly during winter. The fuel stabilizer will help prevent your fuel from breaking down, which is essential in protecting your engine from damage due to stale fuel.
  • Warm up your motorcycle's engine for a few minutes. Warming up your engine will help the oil flow smoothly and the engine work effectively.

Lubricate the chain

As stated above, salt from the roads can cause the metal components of your bike, including the chain, to rust. Thus, it is vital that you first clean the chain and then lubricate it after each winter ride. The cleaning and lubrication will help to remove moisture, dirt, and salt. 

In addition, ensure that the tension in the chain is correct. A good motorcycle chain tension facilitates optimal power transmission, which reduces wear on chain components. It also decreases the risk of chain breakage or derailment.

Hose the motorcycle after each ride

Salt can cause the metal parts of your motorcycle to corrode in no time. Thus, one of the most crucial things you can do to maintain your motorcycle during winter is to hose it after each ride. Hose down gaps, crevices, wheels, or undercarriage where moisture and salt can get stuck after each ride.

Lubricate other parts of your motorcycle

Apart from the chain, other parts, such as the throttle control, pedals, and brakes, need lubrication. Therefore, ensure you apply lubricants to all moving parts regularly. Lubrication will enable all parts of your motorcycle to work smoothly.

Use anti-rust spray

After every motorcycle clean-up session, apply the anti-rust spray to all surfaces susceptible to rust. The anti-rust spray will help create a watertight barrier that prevents corrosion from occurring. Note that a regular application of the anti-rust spray will facilitate complete protection.

Clean your motorcycle's lights regularly

Visibility is vital during the winter season as it prevents accidents from happening. Thus, ensure that your motorcycle's lights are dirt-free to facilitate optimal visibility during winter rides.

Have hand-warmer grips

Winter riding, even if you use high-performance gloves, can be very rough on your hands. Thus, the solution to this issue is to install hand-warmer grips on your motorcycle. These can be fitted to standard grips and will ensure your hands remain warm as you ride during the cold winter months.

If you use the hand-warmer grips, switch them off on a winter morning when the engine is idle. If you don't do this, the grips will strain your motorcycle.

Cover the bike

Covering your motorcycle during winter is vital, as it will ensure that your bike is well protected during the harsh cold season. However, ensure your motorcycle has no moisture, salt, or dirt before you cover it. Thus, before you cover your bike, clean and dry it. This will help protect your motorcycle from corrosion.

Bottom Line

Winter is not the best season to have your motorcycle out for a ride. However, if you care for it well, it can still perform as efficiently as it would during any other season. Therefore, make sure to apply these tips for optimal motorcycle operation in winter.

With winter months being one of the best times to buy a motorcycle, it's also a season to enjoy low-interest-rate motorcycle loans. There is also a reduced consumer demand, and dealers might be more willing to offer discounts.